Na Alii sweep MIL team championships

-- One More Photography photo

The King Kekaulike High School boys and girls braved stormy conditions Saturday to edge Maui Prep and claim both Maui Interscholastic League surf titles at Hookipa Beach.

When the first boys shortboard heat started at 7:15 a.m., winds were blowing 25 to 30 miles per hour on shore with heavy rain and overhead surf. The onshore wind lightened later in the day and the rain subsided, but the surf kept building with faces approaching 15 feet for the fourth and final MIL surf contest of the season.

“It was big, stormy and a lot of work,” Na Alii coach Matt Brown said. “The kids were really brave, they all went out there and made it work, they charged. It was impressive.

“It’s all about the team, them pulling together, everybody rooting each other on. That’s the way it’s been all season and today was just like that.”

Maui Prep’s Tyler Kirby made it close when he won the bodyboard competition, defeating three Na Alii in the finals. That victory propelled Kirby to the overall bodyboard title, too.

Skylar Lickle of Seabury Hall carves a turn on her way to winning the girls shortboard title Saturday. -- One More Photography photo

“It was pretty much back and forth all season between King K and us, it was pretty close the whole year,” Kirby said. “They just got the best of us in the last contest.”

Kirby placed second in shortboard and competed in eight heats during the day.

“I had to surf five back-to-back heats pretty much. Every heat was pretty much bigger and bigger, it was a lot of work. I was so exhausted (for the bodyboard final), I was contemplating going out or not. I just tried to do my best for the team.”

When Maui Prep’s Dante Silva didn’t advance out of his second shortboard heat, Na Pueo’s fate was nearly sealed. Silva had won two of the three previous contests and had already clinched the overall MIL shortboard title.

“Dante just had a little hiccup there,” Maui Prep coach Aaron Huish said. “Second is pretty good. I’m really proud of our girls. They’ve come a long way from riding Wave Storms to shortboards and going into big waves. It’s pretty amazing in such a short time.”

Maui Prep’s Tyler Kirby makes a strong backside gouge in the boys shortboard final. Kirby was second in shortboard and won the bodyboard title. -- One More Photography photo

Girls bodyboard champion Tatiana Ebro of King Kekaulike was a late substitute. She borrowed fins from her coach and boards from three different people for each of her bodyboard heats.

“My friend Kaya (Mullen) hurt her toe and somebody needed to replace her and none of the other girls were willing to do it,” she said. “The first heat wasn’t too bad, but the semifinals and finals got really big. I feel like bodyboarding is easier to commit so I would just like go.”

Like Kirby, Ebro also placed second in shortboard.

“The waves were kind of big, but it was fun,” Ebro said. “I was so excited (for our team) to win overall.”

Although she couldn’t bodyboard, Mullen continued to shortboard and placed third behind Seabury Hall’s Skylar Lickle and Ebro.

Shortboard champion Zachary Newton of Hana makes an air drop after hitting the lip in the finals. -- One More Photography photo

“I cut my toe open and I couldn’t put the fin on my toes,” Mullen said. “So I asked Taty to bodyboard for me and she was ripping so it worked out great.”

Kyle Hobson, a senior, was the only Na Alii to make the shortboard final, placing sixth.

“It was awesome to win,” Hobson said. “I thought it was going to be close, but I kind of had a feeling we were going to take it. Our boys bodyboard team kind of carried us.”

Zachary Newton of Hana won the boys shortboard. Besides Kirby and Silva, the other MIL overall champions were Madison Runyon of Lahainaluna (girls shortboard) and Irie Gonah of Maui Prep (girls bodyboard).

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MIL SURFING

MIL MEET NO. 4

At Hookipa Beach Park

Boys

Team–King Kekaulike 4,243; Maui Prep 3,877; Hana 3,175; Seabury Hall 2,104; Kamehameha Maui 2,050; Lahainaluna 2,029; Baldwin 1,208; Haleakala Waldorf 862; Maui High 808

Shortboard–1. Zachary Newton, Hana; 2. Tyler Kirby, Maui Prep; 3. Conan Gentil, Seabury Hall; 4. Spike Shannon, Baldwin; 5. Tony Nunez, Maui Prep; 6. Kyle Hobson, King Kekaulike; 7. Ethan Anderson, King Kekaulike; 8. Harrison Cramond, Maui Prep; 9. Xavier de Jetley, Hana.

Bodyboard–1. Tyler Kirby, Maui Prep; 2. Kahiau Luat-Hueu, Kamehameha Maui; 3. Ryan West, Lahainaluna; 4. Miles Obley, King Kekaulike; 5. Alex Fahland, King Kekaulike; 6. Trae Tripple Grow, King Kekaulike; 7. Xavier de Jetley, Hana; 8. Antonio Mason, King Kekaulike; 9. Cyrus Cook, Hana.

Girls

Team–King Kekaulike 4,626; Maui Prep 4,018; Seabury Hall 3,372; Kamehameha Maui 3,032; Lahainaluna 1,247; Baldwin 870; Haleakala Waldorf 430; Maui High 403.

Shortboard–1. Skylar Lickle, Seabury Hall; 2. Tatiana Ebro, King Kekaulike; 3. Kaya Mullen, King Kekaulike; 4. Irie Gonah, Maui Prep; 5. Taitum Jones, King Kekaulike; 6. Kamalei Roback, Kamehameha Maui; t7. Kira Caterina, Seabury Hall; t7. Madison Runyon, Lahainaluna; t9. Jolene Munch, Maui Prep; t9. Ashley Nielson, Maui Prep.

Bodyboard–1. Tatiana Ebro, King Kekaulike; 2. Ashley Nielson, Maui Prep; 3. Labryana Hookano, Kamehameha Maui; 4. Irie Gonah, Maui Prep; 5. Skylar Lickle, Seabury Hall; 6. Kamalei Roback, Kamehameha Maui; t7. Madison Runyon, Lahainaluna; t7. Kira Caterina, Seabury Hall; 9. Kawai Kupuni, Kamehameha Maui.

FINAL MIL STANDINGS

Boys

Team–1. King Kekaulike, 2. Maui Prep, 3. Lahainaluna, 4. Kamehameha Maui, 5. Hana, 6. Seabury Hall, 7. Baldwin, 8. Maui High, 9. Haleakala Waldorf.

Shortboard–1. Dante Silva, Maui Prep, 2,810; 2. Tony Nunez, Maui Prep, 2,610; 3. Tyler Kirby, Maui Prep, 2,439; 4. Zachary Newton, Hana, 2,187; 5. Axel Rosenblad, King Kekaulike, 1,900; 6. Spike Shannon, Baldwin, 1,706.

Bodyboard–1. Tyler Kirby, Maui Prep, 2,800; 2. Kahiau Luat-Hueu, Kamehameha Maui, 2,556; 3. Miles Obley, King Kekaulike 2,539; 4. Alex Fahland, King Kekaulike 2,349; 5. George Rocha, Lahainaluna 2,287; 6. Ryan West, Lahainaluna 1,627.

Girls

Team–1. King Kekaulike, 2. Maui Prep, 3. Kamehameha Maui, 4. Seabury Hall, 5. Lahainaluna, 6. Baldwin, 7. Maui High, 8. Haleakala Waldorf.

Shortboard–1. Madison Runyon, Lahainaluna, 2,729; 2. Tatiana Ebro, King Kekaulike, 2,529; 3. Kayla McCarthy, King Kekaulike, 2,312; 4. Irie Gonah, Maui Prep, 2,195; 5. Kaya Mullen, King Kekaulike, 2,151; 6. Kamalei Roback, Kamehameha Maui, 1,850.

Bodyboard–1. Irie Gonah, Maui Prep, 2,810; 2. Kamalei Roback, Kamehameha Maui, 2,439; 3. Kaya Mullen, King Kekaulike, 1,992; 4. Taitum Jones, King Kekaulike, 1,872; 5. Madison Runyon, Lahainaluna, 1,791; 6. Jordyn Houglum, Maui Prep, 1,617.

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